Fyffes CEO retirement ends McCann family's 100-year connection

Charles McCann was first greengrocer to import Fyffes bananas into Ireland.
Fyffes CEO retirement ends McCann family's 100-year connection
David McCann CEO and chairman of Fyffes. Picture: RollingNews.ie

The McCann family’s involvement in fruit importing giant Fyffes has come to an end after more than 100 years, with the group’s current CEO and chairman David McCann set to retire at the end of this month.

Most famous for its bananas, Fyffes was acquired in 1986 by Fruit Importers of Ireland – or FII – which was run by Neil McCann, the father of David and Carl, who is chairman of Total Produce, the international listed fruit and vegetable distribution group which used to be the general produce arm of Fyffes.

The family’s links with Fyffes date back to the early 1900s when Neil McCann’s father Charles became the first greengrocer to import Fyffes bananas into Ireland.

Fyffes was acquired by Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation for more than €750m in 2017. 

David McCann joined Fyffes in 1986. He was appointed managing director three years later, CEO in 1995 and chairman in 2006. He will be replaced as CEO by Chiquita’s Helge Sparsoe, while Sumitomo’s Tom Wada will take over as Fyffes chairman.

Sumitomo CEO Masayuki Hyodo said Mr McCann had been “an outstanding leader” of the business. 

“Today Fyffes is the oldest fruit brand in the world and a leading supplier of fresh produce, employing over 10,000 people,” Mr McCann said, adding it had been a privilege to lead the business.

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